full transcript
#### From the Ted Talk by Garth Sundem: How to defeat a dragon with math

## Unscramble the Blue Letters

Once upon a time in the magical and very round Land of Pi, there lived six scinlkbasuwhg musketeers. There nmeas were Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, adotiidn, and Subtraction. But each was known best by his or her mark: the two hnads radey to catch a fly of Parentheses, the small and raised digits of Exponents, the mighty X of Multiplication, slash of Division, plus of Addition, and, well, you can guess the symbol by which little Subtraction was best known. The Land of Pi was not necessarily the most peaceful place, and that's why the numbers of the kingdom needed the musketeers. The Land of Pi had been rueld by the numrebs as anarcho-syndicalist commune, each number with a vote, but, one powerful number from what we'll call the Imperial seante, eergnneeid a war between some robot things and the knights of the kingdom, and then installed himself as smperue Emperor, and then Puff the migac Digit Dragon ate him, and a princess or two, and, well, all the other numbers in the Land of Pi actually. It was kind of a big day. Anyway, the musketeers were called to action to save the Land of Pi from the voracious dragon. They rode towards him on their valiant steeds and aattcekd. First Multiplication, then Parentheses, but that didn't work. The dragon continued entaig people. So Addition tried, but was trhwon aside. Exponents lepaed at the bseat and was quickly squashed. Nothing was working. The musketeers huddled and formulated a plan. They would attack in sequence, but who should go first? They bickered for a while, the dogarn ate a few more princesses, and then they finally agreed. They jumped into the first, smallest parentheses inside the great Puff the Digit Dragon. Parentheses pointed out where to work first and protected Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction while they diced and sleicd. First here, then, move over there, then there. Look out! There's another set! Parentheses pointed and Exponents took the lead. Then, it was mipliutciltaon, Division, Addition, and Subtraction, each in turn, always the same order. P-E-M-D-A-S When they finished that set, they went to another, and another, always working inside the parentheses in PEMDAS order. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! PEMDAS, there is another spot! Don't forget, there can be parentheses inside paershneets. There's one! And that trciky enpxonet. There we go! Finally, the PEMDAS Musketeers had whittled Puff down to his last fearsome roar. But, having vanquished Puff the Magic Digit Dragon, all the empire's numbers sprang again from this tiny little nmbeur one, and they all leivd hpplaiy ever after. Except for the Emperor Number, which they threw into the mouth of an ancient nesting creature in the desert. The End.
## Open Cloze

Once upon a time in the magical and very round Land of Pi, there lived six **_____________** musketeers. There **_____** were Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, **________**, and Subtraction. But each was known best by his or her mark: the two **_____** **_____** to catch a fly of Parentheses, the small and raised digits of Exponents, the mighty X of Multiplication, slash of Division, plus of Addition, and, well, you can guess the symbol by which little Subtraction was best known. The Land of Pi was not necessarily the most peaceful place, and that's why the numbers of the kingdom needed the musketeers. The Land of Pi had been **_____** by the **_______** as anarcho-syndicalist commune, each number with a vote, but, one powerful number from what we'll call the Imperial **______**, **__________** a war between some robot things and the knights of the kingdom, and then installed himself as **_______** Emperor, and then Puff the **_____** Digit Dragon ate him, and a princess or two, and, well, all the other numbers in the Land of Pi actually. It was kind of a big day. Anyway, the musketeers were called to action to save the Land of Pi from the voracious dragon. They rode towards him on their valiant steeds and **________**. First Multiplication, then Parentheses, but that didn't work. The dragon continued **______** people. So Addition tried, but was **______** aside. Exponents **______** at the **_____** and was quickly squashed. Nothing was working. The musketeers huddled and formulated a plan. They would attack in sequence, but who should go first? They bickered for a while, the **______** ate a few more princesses, and then they finally agreed. They jumped into the first, smallest parentheses inside the great Puff the Digit Dragon. Parentheses pointed out where to work first and protected Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction while they diced and **______**. First here, then, move over there, then there. Look out! There's another set! Parentheses pointed and Exponents took the lead. Then, it was **______________**, Division, Addition, and Subtraction, each in turn, always the same order. P-E-M-D-A-S When they finished that set, they went to another, and another, always working inside the parentheses in PEMDAS order. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! PEMDAS, there is another spot! Don't forget, there can be parentheses inside **___________**. There's one! And that **______** **________**. There we go! Finally, the PEMDAS Musketeers had whittled Puff down to his last fearsome roar. But, having vanquished Puff the Magic Digit Dragon, all the empire's numbers sprang again from this tiny little **______** one, and they all **_____** **_______** ever after. Except for the Emperor Number, which they threw into the mouth of an ancient nesting creature in the desert. The End.
## Solution

- exponent
- names
- attacked
- magic
- happily
- senate
- multiplication
- engineered
- eating
- parentheses
- leaped
- lived
- ready
- numbers
- beast
- dragon
- supreme
- sliced
- thrown
- hands
- tricky
- ruled
- addition
- swashbuckling
- number

## Original Text

Once upon a time in the magical and very round Land of Pi, there lived six swashbuckling musketeers. There names were Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction. But each was known best by his or her mark: the two hands ready to catch a fly of Parentheses, the small and raised digits of Exponents, the mighty X of Multiplication, slash of Division, plus of Addition, and, well, you can guess the symbol by which little Subtraction was best known. The Land of Pi was not necessarily the most peaceful place, and that's why the numbers of the kingdom needed the musketeers. The Land of Pi had been ruled by the numbers as anarcho-syndicalist commune, each number with a vote, but, one powerful number from what we'll call the Imperial Senate, engineered a war between some robot things and the knights of the kingdom, and then installed himself as Supreme Emperor, and then Puff the Magic Digit Dragon ate him, and a princess or two, and, well, all the other numbers in the Land of Pi actually. It was kind of a big day. Anyway, the musketeers were called to action to save the Land of Pi from the voracious dragon. They rode towards him on their valiant steeds and attacked. First Multiplication, then Parentheses, but that didn't work. The dragon continued eating people. So Addition tried, but was thrown aside. Exponents leaped at the beast and was quickly squashed. Nothing was working. The musketeers huddled and formulated a plan. They would attack in sequence, but who should go first? They bickered for a while, the dragon ate a few more princesses, and then they finally agreed. They jumped into the first, smallest parentheses inside the great Puff the Digit Dragon. Parentheses pointed out where to work first and protected Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction while they diced and sliced. First here, then, move over there, then there. Look out! There's another set! Parentheses pointed and Exponents took the lead. Then, it was Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction, each in turn, always the same order. P-E-M-D-A-S When they finished that set, they went to another, and another, always working inside the parentheses in PEMDAS order. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! PEMDAS, there is another spot! Don't forget, there can be parentheses inside parentheses. There's one! And that tricky exponent. There we go! Finally, the PEMDAS Musketeers had whittled Puff down to his last fearsome roar. But, having vanquished Puff the Magic Digit Dragon, all the empire's numbers sprang again from this tiny little number one, and they all lived happily ever after. Except for the Emperor Number, which they threw into the mouth of an ancient nesting creature in the desert. The End.
## Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

### ngrams of length 2

collocation |
frequency |

magic digit |
2 |

digit dragon |
2 |

dragon ate |
2 |

parentheses pointed |
2 |

## Important Words

- action
- addition
- agreed
- ancient
- ate
- attack
- attacked
- beast
- bickered
- big
- call
- called
- catch
- commune
- continued
- creature
- day
- desert
- diced
- digit
- digits
- division
- dragon
- eating
- emperor
- engineered
- exponent
- exponents
- fearsome
- finally
- finished
- fly
- forget
- formulated
- great
- guess
- hands
- happily
- huddled
- imperial
- installed
- jumped
- kind
- kingdom
- knights
- land
- lead
- leaped
- lived
- magic
- magical
- mighty
- mouth
- move
- multiplication
- musketeers
- names
- necessarily
- needed
- nesting
- number
- numbers
- order
- parentheses
- peaceful
- pemdas
- people
- pi
- place
- plan
- pointed
- powerful
- princess
- princesses
- protected
- puff
- quickly
- raised
- ready
- roar
- robot
- rode
- ruled
- save
- senate
- sequence
- set
- slash
- sliced
- small
- smallest
- sprang
- squashed
- steeds
- subtraction
- supreme
- swashbuckling
- symbol
- threw
- thrown
- time
- tiny
- tricky
- turn
- valiant
- vanquished
- voracious
- vote
- war
- whittled
- work
- working